BP’s latest effort to plug a leaking Gulf of Mexico oil well has stopped the flow of crude, at least temporarily, the US Coast Guard says.
The British energy giant began pumping heavy mud into the gusher on Wednesday, hoping that the mud would cap the steady stream of millions of litres of oil.
Thad Allen, the head of the Coast Guard, said early on Thursday that oil is no longer coming out of the well. But he said the well still has some oil pressure, which could theoretically cause a weak spot in the pipe to explode.
BP will now pump cement into the well to permanently seal it off.
Lisa Novak, a spokeswoman for the Coast Guard, later said that Allen “did not declare success.” But “things are going according to plan,” she said.
BP officials struck a more cautious tone. Bob Dudley, the company’s managing director, said in an interview with US broadcaster CNN that the “operation is proceeding like we expected.” The company is expected to issue a full update on Thursday afternoon.